In December, Joanne Greenberg published a novel entitled Jubilee Year
, based on Leviticus 25:4,10. When I finished reading it, I had thoughts of the story as a fantasy of what the end of civilization might be like.
The novel is situated in the high Colorado mountains, where the author herself now lives. A collapse of one side of a mountain strands a small high-altitude village, and leaves the population without access to any of the blessings of civilization, including food, medicine, electricity...and news. A weekly helicopter brings in basic foods and medicines, when the weather cooperates. Some few manage to escape by climbing the rugged terrain, but most can only stay put and wait - and eat lightly. And they wait quite a long time.
Greenberg is not a cautious or prissy writer. She puts it out there. Aggression, sexuality, venality, and other unmentionable human activities are vividly portrayed in the story. Nobility and compassion also make appearances from time to time. One of the more vivid and humane characters is a Protestant minister, the only religious authority within the small the locked-down town. The author herself is Jewish, and is observant, but who also, as I understand it, currently sings in a Methodist Church choir. She is also a lay psychotherapist, or should I say, more correctly, a lay psychoanalyst.
I no sooner finished reading the book than news about the new coronavirus began circulating. As each day passes I am feeling more and more like those isolates in that Colorado village named Gold Flume. A flume is a ravine or gorge with a stream.
For those who take to fiction and need something stimulating to occupy themselves in the current coronavirus quasi-isolation, I recommend this book. I propose that readers will begin to think they are reading about themselves.
Greenberg is also the author I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, half a century ago. It is an autobiographical account of her own experience with psychosis during her teen years, and her therapeutic experience under the care of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann
. She is also the author of a dozen or more other books which can be found for sale via the internet and Amazon
The author has also agreed to be the featured principal guest at the CPSP 2021 Plenary, scheduled to be held in the Denver area next spring.